What we know (so far) about that J. J. Abrams thing

Those of you who have seen the Transformers movie may recall seeing this trailer: it's shot on digital video and seems to be focused on a going-away party for some guy named "Rob." Suddenly the lights go out and the ground starts to shake and everyone runs outside. As the crowd is trying to figure out what the hell is going on, the head of the Statue of Liberty comes flying into the frame. There's no indication of what exactly everyone's looking at, only that it is "alive" and "huge." The camera cuts out, and then a graphic identifies what we're watching as coming from producer J. J. Abrams. It also gives us a date, January 18, 2008.

As one might imagine, particularly when the co-creator of one of the most-analyzed cult TV hits ever is involved, the internet has been going nuts with speculation. A few things were figured out pretty quickly: the project (code name: "Cloverfield") is some kind of verite-style monster movie, and the "official" site is The imdb has a brief cast list up; the biggest name is probably Lizzy Caplan (Janis from Mean Girls and Nick Andopolis's girlfriend on the last episode of Freaks and Geeks). Also, A spy report published various places spoke of something called "Slusho," which is another code name related to this project.

Here's where it gets interesting: there was a report that there were these two sites that were related to the bizarre viral marketing campaign, which was a blog (obviously) about this one dude and, which had these puzzles you could solve. Well, scratch that: J. J. Abrams e-mailed Harry Knowles to say that none of that stuff had anything to do with his project.

But, um... why exactly should we believe him?

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